At first all I wanted was to be able to purchase something wonderful and uplifting for my bedroom wall. Then the goal was — if we could just find a piece that was inspirational above the desk in the den — that would be enough.
Soon, we realized that we spent much more time in the living-room and to be real — so did our friends. Was I trying to be inspired myself — or show what great taste I had — to the friends? Let’s get real — artwork fills all of these “needs.” I decided to tryout Meural.
“Life Imitates Art”– But Do You Want It To?
Thomas Merton said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Well, I sure didn’t want the peeps at work losing themselves in art. “Lose yourself in the next tech project, please — this is a tech company.” If you’re a writer, “Lose yourself in getting that article written — or the editing done. Hey devs — get those complaints and fixes finished, and the updates logged — don’t look at the art.”
There are many beloved statements about art online and about the huge benefits of including these pieces in our lives. They are wonderful. However, I decided to merely hang up a Meural, and see what happened.
The Baby Bum In The Bathtub.
If you were one of those kids who “became a person” in the age of the rotating family pictures inside a frame on an end table–you will relate to this feeling. Remember the real trick to these abominations was to come in the door from school and toss your bookbag in front of it quickly. “Please,” you halfway prayed, “don’t let the friends see my two-year-old-butt in the bathtub.”
If you were unlucky, you were also terrorized by these frames in the parents room, family room and the pool-table room. It would be very difficult to study and graph the ptsd these little gems may have caused through the years. With the beautiful Meural — you are welcome to help your children become “tough” if you would like — baby-bum and all. But, we found the best place to hang our Meural was in our office setting.
A Way To Connect And Embrace Culture In The Office Setting
At the office we all became obsessed with the Meural — but everyone had a different idea of what they wanted to have come-up on the screen. Finally, we said each person could pick five items to add to the frame.
Being in “charge” of the office atmosphere, the “correct” thing to have was to have inspiring entrepreneurial sayings, quotes, and pictures. Jack Ma, Jeff Bezos, Mary Grove, Mary Barra, Derek Andersen, Elon Musk, Dave Goldberg and Sheryl Sandberg. My mind went completely wild — I got the most impressive array of fantastically motivational and stimulating quotes. I can tell you there were more than five. But — I was the boss.
One team in our co-working office space had uplifting quotes. One of the women added a canvas painting from some art museum she’d found online. Someone else had heard that you could add a selfie to the Meural from your phone — why, yes you can.
What About Offensive Pictures, Displays, Items
One person was offended by a painting — it was a Degas — some ballerinas, of course. Do ballerinas belong in a tech world? Come to find out — everything belongs in the tech world. Photos by Ansel Adams, Quotes from Shakespeare, Don Quixote, and Buddha. Pictures of fast cars, wrinkled men’s faces, code, computers, a kids soccer game, gamer trappings — especially if that is the game you are currently winning, wood carvings, modern art, not so modern art, sculptures, and I could go on and on.
But if you don’t like a piece that is up there on the wall as you pass by — guess what? You can swoosh your hand in front of it and the pic will change, immediately. Soon the Meural will know which pics or painting you personally don’t like and it will change the pic as you are entering the room. Perfect.
You Can’t Please Everyone
The saying that says something about we can’t please everyone, is totally true — except in the case of the Meural. Every person in the office has added many more than five items. I’d say more like 25. I put in 50 quotes and and don’t care if that bothers someone. My quotes are exhilarating, heartening, modern — and some are exclusive to me.
It has been shocking and revealing to realize that I didn’t even really know these people I’ve worked with for years. Stories are told that we have never heard before. “Bro, what did you put a pic of a 1950’s toaster up on the Meural for?” “Well, that was sold in my grandfather’s small appliance store in Wyoming,” he said. Then Occ brought one of these beauties (a 1976 toaster with a flag on it, for the bicentennial that year) — into the office for us to use.
Let’s Add To This
The Meural has lots of software that you can get online to find pretty much anything you would ever want to look at or display. But,the magic is to see how employees have added to this collection of interesting thoughts, pics, and items. Our coworking space friends have added to the art pieces — now THAT is inspiring.
Right now, I just looked over there — on a plain bright yellow background — there are the words GET — A POO EMOJI — DONE. Simple, maybe not cute, per se, but hey — that’s coolio. Love it. Russian dancers, fishing in Alaska, and yes, the Degas ballerinas. All of this art is speaking to someone in this room. Frankly, it really does help us get shit done.